The ‘long and winding’ road to Como

Planning our route from Lauterbrunnen to Como in Italy the sat nav gave a couple of options… the longer but straight road using motorways, or the winding one over the Grimselpass and the mountains… its a no-brainier of course, winding wins hands down every time!

Stopping in Interlaken for breakfast to watch the hang gliders landing, we made our way towards Meringen – and its’ famous falls where Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty famously fought.

Heading upwards we noted we shared the road with loads of bikers, the motorised ones not pushbikes. As we progressed we could understand why, the twisting roads were a bikers dream come true. Hairpin bend after hairpin bend, repeat regularly and often, that was the road.

The scenery was fabulous but I have to say I banned Amr from looking at it so tight was the road, and to our surprise, very busy.

Occasionally there was a pull in to let him have a look at the views and watch the bikers zip past. At one point there is a hotel on the top of a hill

which to be honest looked more like something out of a James Bond movie so remote and isolated was it.

As we headed down the other side of the mountain the clouds started to thicken,

and thicken,

to the point where we could hardly see a thing in front of us. I’m sure the scenery was stunning, at times we seemed to be on the narrow road with nothing to either side, but fortunately or unfortunately depending on how you look at it, we couldn’t see anything!

Eventually we reached lower ground and the clouds had turned to rain, but we could see where we were going. Passing Bellinzona, Lugano and eventually crossing into Italy and our two night stop in Como.

Eager to stretch our legs after the journey, and of course Amr by this time starving, we headed into Como centre and had a wander round,

eating pizza looking at the Duomo and watching the world go by. Replete, we wandered towards the lake to find out where to catch the lake ferry for the next day.

What should have been an early start, wasn’t! So we caught the 10.50 ferry and spent the next two hours cruising Lake Como towards Bellagio,

stopping frequently along the way. It was hazy and the clouds low so it wasn’t as inspiring as we had hoped,

but as the day progressed the clouds lifted and contrary to the weather forecast, which had offered thunderstorms by afternoon, the sun came out and the landscape and pretty buildings came to life.

Bellagio is a small village, obviously full of day trippers, but not overly touristic. From the jetty the streets climb sharply upwards and are intriguing to wander up and down.

Views of the lake from all angles are beautiful, the best view of course was when we stopped for lunch,

right on the waterfront with unobstructed views of the lake and ate a leisurely lunch while watching all the lake traffic coming and going.

Our original plan had been to take the ferry to Varenna and then on to Menaggio, but having a later start and a leisurely lunch kind of hampered the timetable somewhat,

so we caught the ferry back at four and arrived back in Como by six,

ready for a wander round the streets and alleyways before heading back to the hotel.

Observing the area outside of the roman centre of Como, the place is generally deteriorated and piles of rubbish line the streets, (all wrapped up in plastic bags, not strewn about the place) which is a bit sad as there are some obviously beautiful buildings underneath the neglect.

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